In March 2015, my husband made a superb nest box for our cockatiels Birdie Num Num – aka Num – and Jo Jo.
Num and Jo Jo looked at the box when it was first attached to their cage, then seemed to ignore it for a few months. Then they started going in and making the nest bowl.
Friday 10 July 2015 – Jo Jo put a foot on Num’s back
Saturday 11 July 2015 – Jo Jo put a foot on Num’s back again
Sunday 12 July 2015 – Jo Jo put two feet on Num’s back
Tuesday 14 July 2015 – They mated at 2 pm! And later in the day
Thursday 16 July 2015 – They mated at 7:45 am and 4:30 pm
Friday 17 July 2015 – Before 2 pm. FIRST EGG! Both started incubating immediately
Sunday 19 July 2015 – By 4 pm. SECOND EGG!
Tuesday 21 July 2015 – Middle of the day. THIRD EGG!
Thursday 23 July 2015 – Middle of the day. FOURTH EGG!
… and that was all; a clutch of 4. The chicks will take 18-21 days to hatch, if the eggs are viable.
Friday 7 August 2015 – Day 0 – here are the 4 eggs. I didn’t get a chance to photograph them as they were laid because Num and Jo Jo sat on them all the time. I’m worried that they are unviable because today is 21 days for the first egg. Fingers crossed
Saturday 8 August 2015 – Day 1 – a chick hatched before 7 am, 22 days after the first egg was laid. We are thrilled and so are Num and Jo Jo. The chick has quite a lot of bright yellow down
Sunday 9 August 2015 – Day 2 – Baby is noticeably stronger and can hold its head up for a little while. Both parents are feeding it. It can’t see yet
Monday 10 August 2015 – Day 3 – Baby is doing well. Terrible photo because it’s a dark day
Tuesday 11 August 2015 – Day 4 – No photo – parents didn’t come out together all day
Wednesday 12 August 2015 – Day 5 – Baby is being very well fed and has a huge crop. It’s growing quickly. It has cute little wings
Thursday 13 August 2015 – Day 6 – Baby is growing stronger
Friday 14 August 2015 – Day 7 – Baby is so much bigger. The crop is scary-huge. I can’t believe it’s been a week. It doesn’t look as if the other eggs are viable
Saturday 15 August 2015 – Day 8 – Baby is doing well. Jo Jo is really pulling his weight. Num Num seems to sit in the box on Baby at night and Jo Jo sleeps on the top perch, then he takes a long shift in the morning
Sunday 16 August 2015 – Day 9 – I’ve just realised that Baby is going to have grey wings like Num (mum). Jo Jo is completely yellow. I think I can see pink pin feathers on the ends of the wings.
Monday 17 August 2015 – Day 10 – I can see a teeny yellow crest! I can definitely see cream and grey pin feathers on the the wings. I think the eyes are starting to open.
Tuesday 18 August 2015 – Day 11 – Baby has a splendid yellow crest. The pin feathers have grown longer and there are more rows of them.
Wednesday 19 August 2015 – Day 12 – just look at Baby’s crest! It’s bright gold. I can see that there is grey on the upper back as well. I can just see the spiky pin feathers on the tail. The eyes are well open now. Baby is so big it has to lie beside Jo Jo
Thursday 20 August 2015 – Day 13 – Crest is more obvious, pin feathers on wings are longer and have more than one colour on them. There are pin feathers across the upper back and tiny ones under the chin. Baby is walking around a bit, but finding it difficult because it has such a big belly.
Friday 21 August 2015 – Day 14 – There are pin feathers all over now, including the sides of the face. The crest has a nice peak.
Saturday 22 August 2015 – Day 15 – Pin feathers are longer, Baby is taller
Sunday 23 August 2015 – Day 16 – We’ve removed the aspen shavings so Baby doesn’t eat them. He’s walking around much more. The white feathers at the ends of the wings are starting to unfurl. We can hold Baby – he’s so warm. This evening we removed the eggs. It’s 10 days past the 21 days for the last egg.
Monday 24 August 2015 – Day 17 – It looks as if Baby’s grey is going to be charcoal, not soft grey like Num’s. Charcoal wing feathers are starting to unfurl and I think I can see the orange cheek! We’re starting to hold Baby. I tried to get a sharp photo, but I still won’t use flash.
Tuesday 25 August 2015 – Day 18 – Baby sometimes hisses and puts wings out when I open the box, but doesn’t mind being held. Num and Jo Jo don’t seem to mind us holding baby either. More wing feathers are unfurling. It looks as if Baby will have light and dark grey in the wings. I think Num is removing the waxy coatings so the feathers can unfurl. Baby is standing up more; the belly and crop don’t look as big now.
Here are Mum -Birdie Num Num aka Num – and Dad – Jo Jo. Num is a pied with soft grey wings with white edges and a grey barred tail. Jo Jo is a lutino and is pure lemon with no grey. Interesting to see all the charcoal grey appear on Baby! Neither parent has grey on the face.
Wednesday 26 August 2015 – Day 19 – Baby is enjoying looking out the window now. Num is still preening the pin feathers. More feathers are unfurling, towards the front of the wings and on the tail, which is getting longer. The wings are really long when stretched out.
Thursday 27 August 2015 – Day 20 – Baby’s feathers are unfurling nicely. She seems to have a lemon wash through the white on her wings. We’ve decided to call her ‘she’ because we saw one banded feather in her tail (wild type females have bands on their tail feathers). Her tail has lemon feathers in the centre (the future long ones) and charcoal feathers on each side of them.
Friday 28 August 2015 – Day 21 – More and more feathers are unfurling, on the upper back, chest and crest. She can raise her crest and is stretching her wings out. She has some little stripey feathers near her legs too.
Saturday 29 August 2015 – Day 22 – Meet Tina Sparkles! More of the feathers on her upper back have unfurled and her tail is longer. Her crest feathers are unfurling and her crest is taller. The yellow and white feathers under her chin and on her upper breast are unfurling.
Sunday 30 August 2015 – Day 23 – Sparkles has a lot more feathers now, but Num sometimes tugs them out roughly. Sparkles has some stripy feathers at the tops of her legs and a yellow collar and grey breast.She can grip around a finger, although she’s slow to change legs. She’s starting to walk a bit more. She flaps her wings really quickly sometimes.
Monday 31 August 2015 – Day 24 – Sparkles looks like a real cockatiel now! Her crest is fluffy, most of her feathers are unfurled and she is just exquisite. Her legs are getting stronger and she is practising flapping her wings and nibbling on things.
Tuesday 1 September 2015 – Day 25 – Sparkles looks as if she’s close in size to her parents – her head and body – but her tail is much shorter. She’s flapping her wings a lot and I keep finding the ladder knocked down in the box. Tonight when she was out Num and Jo Jo looked as if they were calling her to fly. They kept doing short flights, mostly together, from the lounge to the cage and they were talking to her and she was talking to them. It was like the galahs but the urgency isn’t there yet. Num and Jo Jo mated yesterday and today – Spring is here!
Wednesday 2 September 2015 – Day 26 – I walked out into the lounge room to check on Sparkles and she had climbed up to the entrance hole! While I was holding her she flapped her wings like crazy and made a nice cool breeze. Num and Jo Jo mated 3 or 4 times today and Num looked like she was trying to make a nest bowl. She was pulling at the paper towel in the nest box.
Thursday 3 September 2015 – Day 27 – I decided to take a photo of Sparkles in her box because she’ll soon leave it forever. Her wings are long, although her tail isn’t yet. She is gripping better with her feet.
Friday 4 September 2015 – Day 28 – Sparkles has started investigating things with her beak and tongue so I gave her some millet. She seemed to know how to eat straight away. I gave her some fresh grass seeds too. Sparkles balance has improved. she perches well on my finger. Num and Jo Jo are continuing to mate and arrange the paper in the box.
Saturday 5 September 2015 – Day 29 – Sparkles spent her first night out of the box in the cage with her parents last night! She did a few short flights yesterday and today. The day before she slipped off the box and fluttered to the floor. She loves perching on our fingers.
Thank you for your interest in Sparkles. From now on, I’ll just post an occasional photo, as Sparkles won’t change in appearance.
Tuesday 8 September 2015 – Num just laid an egg!!!!!!!!